The Kitchen God’s Whine

The Kitchen God’s Whine

Exactly what do I have to sacrifice to the kitchen gods in order to get a good can opener?

I’ve already sacrificed the skin on my right arm to the oven gods for good cookies, and the skin on the roof of my mouth for good taste, but now… I’m willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for a good can opener.

And by “good,” of course, I mean, “one that works.”

As I was making shepherd’s pie last night for dinner, I struggled to get the can opener to actually open a can.

I clamped the opener down, turned the enormous handle and after only half a turn discovered it wasn’t cutting the can lid off anymore. Naturally, I started over again, only to have to start over another half a turn later. Clearly, this isn’t how can openers are supposed to work.

I’ve had can openers before that worked. They would glide through the cans of vegetables and soup like they were slicing through butter. But eventually, they would break down and move from the overflowing kitchen utensils drawer to the “oh, yeah, it still works occasionally, so let’s not throw it away” camping box.

Truth be told, I’m pretty sure it’s more important to have a can opener that works out in the wild where your life depends on it, than it is in the kitchen where you could just go to the store and get fresh food instead.

Now that I have kids, can openers are more crucial to my cooking equipment than a slotted spoon or fish spatula. If I can’t open up a can of something, my kids might not eat anything at all. My kids just don’t seem to appreciate home cooked meals. If they had their druthers, it would be baked beans and hot dogs, or cans of ravioli every day.

As I stood there struggling with the can opener, it made me wonder whether Gordon Ramsey ever has to worry about whether or not his can opener works. Then again, I’m pretty sure he never makes shepherd’s pie with cans of tomato soup and green beans.

And I’ll bet he never has to worry about picky child eaters. I’ll bet he never spends time covering only three quarters of HIS shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes so as not to invoke the “EWWWW” reflex in one of his children, like I do.

I imagine his children probably come to the dinner table saying “Oh Papa, what wonderful creation have you prepared for us tonight? Another dinner of garam masala with basmati rice and mango kulfi for dessert? Marvelous, papa, simply marvelous!”

If he lived in my house, he’d get “Really Dad? Lamb shanks with oven roasted leeks and parsnips again? Can’t we just have canned beans and weenies like Neville’s mom makes? I mean, seriously… ”

But, if he did make them that, I’m pretty sure HIS can opener would work.

© Liz Carey 2014

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